LeROY -- For someone who "stumbled" into teaching, LeRoy Preparatory Academy Principal Robbie Osenga is making a name for himself.
The Normal native, who now lives in Bloomington, has not only seen success at the LeRoy School District's alternative school, but is often asked to speak on his educational philosophies.
Not bad for a guy who graduated from college with a degree in Bible and theology and once worked as a landscape and residential designer.
"I stumbled into education as a teacher's aide at Hammitt School in Normal, and fell in love with students with special needs," said Osenga. "Two master's degrees later, I am now leading efforts to help students, parents and teachers reach their full potential."
Osenga said he uses a "love and logic" method, hoping to empower students to make good decisions.
How do people know you? It's either "Aren't you that guy that runs that special school?" or "Aren't you the guy who plays bongos or guitars at our church?"
What do you like to do in your free time? The majority of my free time is spent with my beautiful wife and daughter, which of late has meant a lot of hide-and-go-seek, puppet shows and pretend food preparation. Also, I spend a great deal of time creating and remodeling.
What's the most important thing in your life? First and foremost, my relationship and reliance upon Jesus, which fuels my relationships with my family, friends and students.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would change my inability to shift gears mentally. When I am thinking about some new idea to speak truth to kids or when I have some big project coming up the next day, I really struggle to turn off my brain.
What is the quote you live by? The quote that has brought momentum to my life over the past several years is a quote from the Apostle Paul in the first century: "I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." This led into my school's mission statement.